Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Afghanistan

A Candid Discussion with Peter Jones

A Candid Discussion with Peter Jones

Dr. Peter Jones is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is also an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has held various positions related to international affairs and security at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, the […]

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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

This film is riveting. It is a fictional look at the hunt for and eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, the man who is believed to have masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Jessica Chastain rightfully won the best actress in a drama at the Golden Globes. She has also […]

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A Long Road Ahead for France in Mali

A Long Road Ahead for France in Mali

  In light of France’s recent involvement in Mali, questions about the trajectory and length of this war are naturally coming to the fore. For me, a phrase that I keep thinking about is “the law of conservation of problems,” which comes from an environmental science text I once used. Featured in the text to […]

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Pakistan: Will Doctrinal Shifts Lead to Changes toward India?

Pakistan: Will Doctrinal Shifts Lead to Changes toward India?

According to new media reports (here and here), the Pakistani army has revised its doctrinal handbook to give priority to the country’s burgeoning internal security challenges.  The change appears, at least on the surface, to represent a fundamental shift away from the “India-centric” orientation that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the powerful army chief, has long […]

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Will the Iraqi Endgame be repeated in Afghanistan?

Will the Iraqi Endgame be repeated in Afghanistan?

Even as President Obama trumpets his plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan in two years’ time, he also insists (though in a sotto voce way) that he wants to maintain a limited but long-term military presence focused on counter-terrorism missions and training Afghan security forces.  Of course, this is the same promise he […]

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Thoughts on the Light Footprint Strategy

Thoughts on the Light Footprint Strategy

With President Obama’s second term around the corner, it is a perfect moment to look back at the administration’s so-called “light footprint” strategy – a military strategy characterized by the use of targeted tactics like drone strikes and the avoidance of large-scale, on-the-ground intervention.  As journalist David Sanger summarized it in a video interview, it […]

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U.S. Interests in the Mideast–Forget Human Rights says Aaron David Miller, and Think Guns, Oil, and More Guns

U.S. Interests in the Mideast–Forget Human Rights says Aaron David Miller, and Think Guns, Oil, and More Guns

The Syrian rebels, or opposition, or the Syrian National Coalition (the name this motley assembly of Sunnis, Salafists, jihadists, and foreign insurgents) agreed to take on in Doha as a prerequisite for U.S. support (money PLUS guns), successfully launched a surface to air missile (SAM) about ten days ago, bringing down a Syrian government aircraft. […]

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Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe

Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe

  Burundi obstetric clinic slows maternal deaths The Burundi region of Kabezi has already met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75% from 1990 rates thanks to an emergency obstetric care clinic run by Médecins sans Frontières, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “You do not need state-of-the-art […]

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KAFKANISTAN: Ventureing into Unknown Places

KAFKANISTAN: Ventureing into Unknown Places

In the spring of 2006, Austrian Lukas Birk, under the alias “Smiley Wallah” ventured into Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran as a tourist—a dangerous endeavor the average person would never dream of doing. In his travels, Birk encounters people from all over the world—Vietnam, Germany, and France, for example, and in interviews with them which he presents […]

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Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe

Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe

For girls, Somali refugee camps are unsafe Violence against women and girls is rife in Somalia, especially in the refugee camps in and around the capital, Mogadishu, where many fear rape by armed bands. “The other night a bandit came into my house and raped my little girl. I tried to fight but I couldn’t, […]

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Obama and Afghanistan: An Update

Obama and Afghanistan: An Update

There are several updates to the key points I outlined in last week’s post about President Obama’s handling of the Afghan war. The first concerns the success of the surge of 30,000 extra troops that Mr. Obama announced in December 2009, most of which were deployed in southern Afghanistan.  As I noted, one of the significant […]

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10 foreign policy questions for the third presidential debate

10 foreign policy questions for the third presidential debate

Finally the topic of foreign policy will be confronted. So far it has been a drought for U.S. foreign policy experts and lovers. The question about the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya causing the killing of four American diplomats has been one of the very few foreign policy themes tackled so far. However, […]

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Ready for the Foreign Policy Debate?

Ready for the Foreign Policy Debate?

  I’m looking forward to the upcoming presidential debate on foreign policy. This will be the final debate before election day and will be held in Florida on Monday night at 9pm ET and hosted by Bob Schieffer of CBS News. According to the  Commission on Presidential Debates we can expect the debate to cover […]

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Take a Bite out of Terror: Battling the Taliban’s Influence in Schools

Take a Bite out of Terror: Battling the Taliban’s Influence in Schools

Combat Outpost Zormat, Paktia Province When U.S. Major Lee and Captain Gil entered Ganat Kahiyl High School in eastern Afghanistan recently, a local teacher slipped them a small note: “The Taliban have visited our school and forced their curriculum upon us. Can the government help?” This was not an empty threat. Insurgents burned down Sahakh […]

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How Well Has Mr. Obama Waged His “War of Necessity”?

How Well Has Mr. Obama Waged His “War of Necessity”?

  There are major dents in the president’s foreign policy claims A spate of new books offers critical appraisals of President Obama’s stewardship of national affairs.  Bob Woodward’s latest volume, “The Price of Politics,” draws an unflattering portrait of his management of fiscal policy, echoing themes in Ron Suskind’s “Confidence Men.”  On foreign policy, Ahmed Rashid’s […]

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